While some may be decrying the United Nations’ recent inability to pass a U.S.- and European Union-backed plan to ban the export of bluefin tuna, Gail Shea, Canadian federal fisheries minister, insists the decision is good for our country.
The plan, which was opposed by Japan, Canada, and what is said to be an amalgam of smaller developing countries, was tabled at a recent UN wildlife meeting.
Aimed at protecting the dwindling stock of the majestic, and sushi prized bluefin, Shea is quoted by the CBC as saying that the regulations were unnecessary, due to Canada’s strong conservation practices. "We're very encouraged by the preliminary results because Canada's position all along has been that this species should be managed through a regional fish-management program, which we have in ICCAT [International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas].”
According to the CBC, the news was met with some significant cheer in P.E.I, which is home to some 300 tuna fishermen. "We're ecstatic here. We never thought there should have been a ban and the way we fish our tuna here and our conservation measures and the way the fishermen themselves look after the stock,” Neil LeClair, P.E.I.'s fisheries minister told the national broadcaster.
While those on the island and on Canada’s Parliament Hill are pleased with the victory, others around the world are looking at Canada and Japan with grave condemnation. "Let's take science and throw it out the door," Susan Lieberman, director of international policy with the Pew Environment Group in Washington, told the Associated Press. "It's pretty irresponsible of the governments to hear the science and ignore the science. Clearly, there was pressure from the fishing interests. The fish is too valuable for its own good,” she added.